China will step up cooperation with the United States to track down economic fugitives and bring them and their illicit gains back to the country. The news emerged on Friday, amid a two-day seminar that began in Beijing on Thursday, during which Chinese and US officials discussed their experiences in China’s hunt for such fugitives who had fled overseas. China’s Ministry of Public Security had invited federal prosecutors from the US Justice Department and senior agents from the US Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service to attend the seminar, Xinhua reported. Chinese officials from the Supreme People’s Court, ministries of Supervision, Foreign Affairs and Justice, as well as local police authorities also attended. The two countries’ officials would share laws, evidence and issues involved in tracking down suspects wanted for corruption, money-laundering and other money-related crimes. The Chinese public security ministry would also hold meetings with various US authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement this year to “discuss matters over collaboration between China and the US on hunting down fugitives and their illegal assets”, Xinhua said, citing an unnamed official from the ministry. A total of 680 economic fugitives abroad were brought back to China to face the music by the end of last year, along with more than 3 billion yuan (HK$3.8 billion) obtained by illegal means, the country’s top graft-buster said last week. The US is one of the most popular destinations for such fugitives from China. But the two countries do not have an extradition treaty, and lengthy, complicated legal procedures make it difficult to bring them back to China. China has been intensifying its efforts to bring to justice corrupt former officials who have fled overseas – often with huge sums of stolen money – as part of President Xi Jinping’s far-reaching anti-corruption campaign.